South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw is learning the Gamecocks' gameplan for Mississippi State from a sickbed.
The quarterback received the plan, delivered to his home while he deals with a bad illness, from the coaching staff on Tuesday. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, according to gogamecocks.com, doesn't necessarily consider his physical absence from practice to be an indication that he won't be prepared to start.
"Hopefully, he's got an idea of what we're doing," Spurrier said. "He's played an awful lot so he doesn't have to practice too much."
If Shaw is able to practice Wednesday, it will be his first practice of the week. Spurrier was optimistic that the Gamecocks' emotional leader would be ready to play Saturday against the Bulldogs. An injury-hampered Shaw saved his team from, potentially, a shutout loss to Missouri with a second-half spark off the bench last week.
"He should be fine, but it is unusual you haven't seen your starting quarterback since last Saturday night," Spurrier said. "He's had a bug that is hard to shake. Hopefully, he's been able to get some fluids in him and be able to play. If he's not, Dylan (Thompson) is ready and we will go from there."
Shaw's reputation for grit and toughness, having played through minor injuries throughout his college career, rose to another level Saturday night in the comeback win over Missouri. He completed 20 of 29 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns in relief of sophomore Dylan Thompson, who figures to be one of the top starters in the SEC next season.
Shaw isn't viewed among the top quarterback prospects for the 2014 NFL Draft, although NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah suggested a couple of months ago that Shaw looked like, potentially, a late-round talent. For the season, he has a higher pass-efficiency rating than even Georgia's Aaron Murray. Shaw ranks fourth in the SEC behind a Heisman winner (Johnny Manziel), a two-time national champion (AJ McCarron), and LSU shooting star Zach Mettenberger.
UPDATE: Shaw returned to practice Wednesday, according to gogamecocks.com, but was limited.
"He didn't take all the reps (Wednesday), but he took more than I probably thought he was going to today, so yeah he'll be ready to go," quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus said, per the report. "He'll go get a good night sleep and hopefully get a bunch of (the reps) tomorrow."
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.